Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NASL Week 13 Recap


Article by Doak Gips



So, there were some NASL games played this weekend. What? You don't care? You heard that Eric Wynalda is going to be coaching the Atlanta Silverbacks? That's right. You heard it first from this tape-delayed recap that the one and only Eric Wynalda will be coaching the Atlanta Silverbacks on an interim basis. Wynalda gets pretty much full control of the team, including head preference on who they sign as their actual head coach come August, when Wynalda will resume his full-time duties as on-air soccer mouthpiece for Fox Soccer. Personal opinion? I love it. Not only does Wynalda get to show his actual coaching chops off, he gets to do it where the spotlight isn't shining quite as brightly on him. Granted, the media following the Silverbacks will now be tremendous, as will a close examining of their wins and losses count, which is quite poor currently. But how did the rest of the NASL work through this weekend? 


Atlanta Silverbacks vs. San Antonio Scorpions

The Silverbacks have been abysmal. Just truly awful. And they received absolutely no help in getting better from the Scorpions, who promptly decided that second place in the NASL made them sad, and that they needed to do something about it. The Scorpions trounced the Silverbacks 3-0 in front of 11,912 at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio. The Silverbacks gave the first goal to the Scorpions as Esteban Bayona was left completely unmarked on a cross from Hans Denissen, which came in the 24th minute. The game stayed at 1-0 going into half, with the Silverbacks keeping up the Scorpions well. 

But then Pablo Campos decided he had had enough. He retrieved a bad giveaway from the Silverbacks in the midfield, took a defender one on one, pulled a nifty little FIFA move, then promptly slotted the shot by Silverbacks 'keeper Daniel Illyes. Campos then found his brace off a corner kick from Walter Ramirez. The ball from Ramirez found Campos' foot, and he was able to knock it past Illyes for the final goal. The win, at the time, put them at the top of the NASL standings. It was up to Puerto Rico to come through with a win to regain their top spot...

Puerto Rico Islanders vs. FC Edmonton

...Which the Islanders could not do, as they couldn't even score a goal, in what turned out to be a 0-0 draw against FC Edmonton in front of 1,474 at Clarke Stadium. It was the first scoreless game in the NASL since the San Antonio Scorpions and the Minnesota Stars FC played to a 0-0 draw on June 2nd.  In what turned out to be a pretty docile game, neither team could take advantage of much of anything really. If you don't believe me, check out the highlight reel on the NASL website, which is a whopping 33 seconds long. Edmonton came up with the better chances throughout the match, as “committee-of- me-NASL-player-of the-year-so-far award” (Or CoMNASLPotYSF, for short) Shaun Saiko tried the magnificent from about 30 yard line, but hit the shot just wide. 

Minnesota Stars FC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

The battle for third place was on the line between the Minnesota Stars, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, with the Rowdies coming out on top, and gaining sole possession of third place, with a 2-0 win at Al Lang Stadium in front of 2,594 fans. Somehow, someway, in the first half, both teams got off 10 shots each, and did not score a goal. Both keepers came up huge in the first half, with Stars 'keeper Matthew VanOekel looking more than MLS quality on more than one occasion. But the Rowdies were able to strike first, as the goal came in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Rowdies forward Mike Ambersley was left completely and totally unmarked as he made a run into the box. He was happily fed the ball from midfielder Luke Mulholland. 

The Stars had plenty of chances to capitalize, with one coming off the woodwork in the 56th minute. But it was the Rowdies who grabbed the insurance goal in the 87th minute, as Tsuyoshi Yoshitake was able to beat his defender, and then the 'keeper. Even with an amazing 37 shots by both teams, somehow, the score ended at only 2-0 in favor of the Rowdies.

Carolina Railhawks vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers

The Railhawks have been on fire as of late, not losing a game since May 12th. The Strikers have been streaky at best, doing things like drawing to the Silverbacks at home, then turning around and beating the Rowdies the next week. Overall though, they have played better at home than on the road, and the Strikers kept up with that, beating the Railhawks 2-0 at Lockhart Stadium in front of the 3,506 fans. The Strikers put the pressure on the Railhawks early, as Mark Anderson's shot took a deflection off Railhawks defender Gale Agbossoumonde's back, and ended up wrong-footing Ray Burse. 


Anderson found himself on the receiving end of the 2nd goal, as a pinpoint low cross from defender Scott Lorenz found Anderson, who was able to hit it far post past Burse. The Railhawks added a late goal, when Nick Zimmerman cleaned up a missed header that bounced off the post in the 82nd minute, but the Railhawks could do no more, as their 4-game winning streak was snapped.

I hope you like soccer, because the NASL likes playing games. All 8 NASL teams will be in action on July 3rd and 4th, with 6 teams returning to action to play on the next Saturday as well. The midweek games include Carolina facing Atlanta, Tampa Bay against Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio going up against FC Edmonton, and Minnesota against Puerto Rico. The weekend games include Carolina taking on Fort Lauderdale, Puerto Rico facing Edmonton, and Minnesota against Atlanta.

Here are your updated results.


TEAM
GP
W
T
L
GD
PTS
San Antonio Scorpions
13
7
4
2
9
25
Puerto Rico Islanders
13
7
3
3
11
24
Tampa Bay Rowdies
14
6
3
5
0
21
Minnesota Stars FC
13
5
5
3
0
20
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
14
5
4
5
-2
19
Carolina RailHawks
14
4
5
5
1
17
FC Edmonton
13
3
3
7
-3
12
Atlanta Silverbacks
14
1
5
8
-16
8

Would love to hear your opinions on the hiring of Wynalda. Find me on twitter @DoakGips, and let me know what you think. 

1 comment:

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